KOSOVO & YUGOSLAVIA: LAW IN CRISIS

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Belgrade Law Professors Appeal for Help in Ending Attacks, Resuming Kosovo Talks

JURIST Exclusive

Pittsburgh, March 29 - This morning JURIST received the following collective appeal from the professors at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, calling upon their colleagues around the world to press for an immediate stop to the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia and for an immediate resumption of talks on Kosovo. Sources in Belgrade tell JURIST that the appeal, drafted by some of the most prominent and oldest Professors of the school, was adopted unanimously at an extraordinary session of the teaching staff held on March 27th.

We reproduce the appeal exactly as sent:

Appeal To All Who Believe In Rule Of Law

Bearing in mind the tragic present state of affaires in the federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the extremely disturbing consequences this situation bears upon the very basis of the legally organized international community

We, Professors of the Belgrade Faculty of Law, APPEAL to you to

1. Use your influence, professional and personal, and best endeavors for the immediate and unconditional termination of the brutal NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia causing irreparable humanitarian disaster, and;

2. Insist on a peaceful resolution of the Kosovo and Metohija crises through immediate resumption of the negotiation process, leading to a true consensus, based on established principles and standards of law, tolerance and respect for fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter.

In reaction to the brutal aggression of the NATO Alliance against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, commenced in the night of 24th of March 1999, by causing mass murder and large scale destruction, which denies basic human rights to life and freedom, the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade, as the central juristic and educational institution since its establishment in 1838, its Professors, in an attempt to alarm the conscience of our learned colleagues, advocates of humanism and justice worldwide, and all thinking people and nations of this World make this APPEAL.

If the Law in its primal and primitive form, inspired by the instinct of vengeance ordered - DO EVIL; if the Law of the following epoch guided by the principles of Christian Civilization ordered - DO NO EVIL; than the Law of our time, inspired by the authority of mind and culture of reason, codified today as international standards of human rights, represents the inception of the third epoch which orders - MAKE GOOD. These principles - do evil, do no evil, make good - are three steps in the evolution of legal culture. They represent the moral tripartition of the Law.

The Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade, as part of the European legal civilization, by juristic and educational opus of it's Professors, most of them educated in Europe, and recently in other juristic centers of the World, has built its establishment on the idea of Law as a cultural phenomena, in pursuit of justice today codified in UN documents as standards of International Law in the fields of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, promising a just Rule of Law for the third millenium.

The dawn of new Millenium fostered our faith in the realization of human rights, dignity of life, and equality of all, regardless of race, creed, or conviction.

Regrettably, dear Colleagues, this historic evolution of legal and philosophic thought has been crudely disrupted, hopefully not forever, by the aggression of the NATO Alliance, by its moral and legal delict, and its offense against mankind. This brutal act has degraded modern legal culture to the primitive instinctual principle - DO EVIL.

Today we are hit by this evil. Tomorrow, unrestricted by the UN and the International Law, having neither moral and legal boundaries nor civilizational imperatives in its perspective, evil will find its new victim somewhere else, on some other unfortunate place of our planet.

Therefore, Professors of the Belgrade Faculty of Law warn the Global juristic and general public that every violence is in opposition to reason. When this violence accumulates the physical might of mass destruction of human beings, human environment, its material and intellectual cultural heritage of invaluable importance, then this is not only an individual criminal act, rather it is a cataclysm leaving behind itself devastation of foundations for life.

We are all well aware that actions with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression are regulated by the UN Charter, Chapter Seven, wherein it is provided that it is in the exclusive competence of the Security Council to decide upon appropriate measures to be undertaken according to Art. 41 and 42 of the UN Charter.

In that framework it is of essential importance to mention provision of Art. 2 (4) that all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

Bearing in mind the tragic present state of affaires in the federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the extremely disturbing consequences this situation bears upon the very basis of the legally organized international community

We, Professors of the Belgrade Faculty of Law, unanimously APPEAL

1. Use your influence, professional and personal, and best endeavors for the immediate and unconditional termination of the brutal NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia causing irreparable humanitarian disaster, and;

2. Insist on a peaceful resolution of the Kosovo and Metohija crises through immediate resumption of the negotiation process, leading to a true consensus, based on established principles and standards of law, tolerance and respect for fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter.

In Belgrade, on the fourth day of bombing of Yugoslavia, March 27th, 1999.



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